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What was wrong with the Closing Ceremony?


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I didn't say London should copy others and make weird avant garde theatrics with unicycles.

The props and set pieces looked great but it is still secondary to all the musical act. The musical acts were terrific, but the way the CC went down it made the protocols seemed secondary. London can do whatever they want to show off their culture, which in this CC is focused of music. That is perfectly fine. I was greatly entertained too. I just wished they made the protocols more seamlessly into the whole event.

I'm entitled to my opinion that it was a great entertaining concert but not a great ceremony because it made the protocols feel awkward and secondary which IMHO shouldn't.

I know what you mean, yes.

Jacques Rogge and Prince Harry being invited into the stadium once Timothy Spall had said "quiet!!!" rather than a dignified pause, and the flag-waving, which was not so ceremoniously done as in Beijing. So they got the serious stuff (when most ordinary people go out to get the drinks or go to the toilet) over in a relatively small period of time, so people didn't switch over :-)

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the IOC wanted the whole event scaling down, as it was putting off bidders from future cities who needed reassurance that they didn't need to do it bigger and better than Beijing. London did it differently. It had to be, otherwise too many comparisons would have been made that they had done everything on the cheap. I think that was a fairly good start. We needed to reset the button. Beijing was too big, too much of a chest-beating show of power. I for one preferred London to Beijing because I felt it was all done with imagination, but mainly with an open heart. Something desperately missing in 2008.

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It's London. They don't do things like other cities. It's different. London doesn't copy; it is copied. If you want cliché, watch the last 4 CCs. They're all so similar in their nature, I get confused which is which!

OK...that's the one thing that always irked me about the London Games. This kind of attitude that only London could do this right and that everyone else that did it was a sad imitation or a failure. Have some respect for the efforts of other past hosts. Everyone does it their way and if you truly appreciate and love the Olympic Games, then you'll get that. That's what makes the Games so great. There's no one way of doing it. And calling everyone else 'boring' and 'bland' is terribly arrogant and disrespectful (wasn't another city accused of this?) to the wonderful people, cities and Olympics of the past.

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This kind of attitude that only London could do this right and that everyone else that did it was a sad imitation or a failure.

I think it's a syndrome that should be included in the next World Health Organisation ICD manual. It seems to affect normally mild mannered citizens of every host country as the olympics pass over them. They slowly go back to normal. Those Vancouver best ever games facebook pages have become inactive. The red mist will fade from these jingoistic Brits eventually, and there's always lithium for those who can't seem to get a sense of perspective.

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OK...that's the one thing that always irked me about the London Games. This kind of attitude that only London could do this right and that everyone else that did it was a sad imitation or a failure. Have some respect for the efforts of other past hosts.

As far as I can tell, none of the British posters on here have been saying any of these things with the sole exception of Blacksheep! Mercator is apparently from Germany.

Everyone does it their way and if you truly appreciate and love the Olympic Games, then you'll get that. That's what makes the Games so great. There's no one way of doing it. And calling everyone else 'boring' and 'bland' is terribly arrogant and disrespectful (wasn't another city accused of this?) to the wonderful people, cities and Olympics of the past.

Other than that, I agree with everything you say.

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OK...that's the one thing that always irked me about the London Games. This kind of attitude that only London could do this right and that everyone else that did it was a sad imitation or a failure. Have some respect for the efforts of other past hosts. Everyone does it their way and if you truly appreciate and love the Olympic Games, then you'll get that. That's what makes the Games so great. There's no one way of doing it. And calling everyone else 'boring' and 'bland' is terribly arrogant and disrespectful (wasn't another city accused of this?) to the wonderful people, cities and Olympics of the past.

No, previous ones weren't bland at all; I just think London's version was more eccentric, quirky and edgy than those before it. You have to see it as it is - different format, less pretentious and certainly not boring. Off this forum, I don't know anyone amongst my neighbours, students or colleagues who has a bad word to say about any of it. I find it awfully picky of some to pull it to bits, so I guess I'm compensating for their haughtiness :rolleyes:

Most closing ceremonies are music-themed. Often, we hear more local songs that we find nice to hear but then forget about unless we're addicts. It's just this time, most of the songs are already well-known, as London is a very musical city. Just be thankful they didn't roll out any casts of the West End musicals...

However, I was actually in London for six days last week and this week, and the place was rocking. I've never seen so many people. And all of them having such fun. I caught the Underground home with a load of people who had been in the stadium that night, and nobody said "why wasn't it the same as last time?", "I don't understand why we didn't have more solemn moments" or "I would have enjoyed it more if Jacques Rogge had given a longer speech".

Enjoy it for what it was and stop picking holes in it.

I think it's a syndrome that should be included in the next World Health Organisation ICD manual. It seems to affect normally mild mannered citizens of every host country as the olympics pass over them. They slowly go back to normal. Those Vancouver best ever games facebook pages have become inactive. The red mist will fade from these jingoistic Brits eventually, and there's always lithium for those who can't seem to get a sense of perspective.

And they also need to do the same with the mild-mannered citizens of recent past hosts. I get the feeling they try too hard to play down the successes of the following countries. It is in fact a backhanded compliment ;-)

I don't think any British people are being jingoistic about it, apart from some sheepy poster on here - I don't think gloating is in the British nature; unless there's an Australian nearby :D

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I've got no problems with saying the London closing surpassed, in my enjoyment and appreciation, any closing I've watched before. Sydney's will always be close to my heart (and I reckon it was just as eccentric and quirky with its barbie and bushflies and giant Rex Mobassa Franken-Roos and drag queens and all that). But it was also bitter-sweet as the closing of a great two weeks for me, and we just can't compete with Britain when it comes to the musical heritage. Yeah, some of the individual acts weren't at their best, but that's the same as any such concert (and closings are rarely much beyond concerts these days), and most of the rest nailed it. It was just such a joyous send-off to a great games.

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Well this is GamesBids forum, where we pick apart anything and everything related to the Olympics :P

I just wished London would do a little more in the CC to provide a summation of what occurred in the past 17 days and a more clever closure to an "Olympic" games. That being said, I just have to say I still don't get the dancing phoenix ballet segment. By itself the segment was great and powerful but it felt out of place after 2.5 hours of fun musical act. Another thing is I don't get why London chose to focus so much on ONLY the agony of defeat with that crying montage (again, a total opposite of the atmosphere of the London CC) but not the joy of victory. Maybe I missed it somewhere?

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Another thing is I don't get why London chose to focus so much on ONLY the agony of defeat with that crying montage (again, a total opposite of the atmosphere of the London CC) but not the joy of victory. Maybe I missed it somewhere?

They showed also tears of joy of winning athetes in that video.

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Another thing is I don't get why London chose to focus so much on ONLY the agony of defeat with that crying montage (again, a total opposite of the atmosphere of the London CC) but not the joy of victory. Maybe I missed it somewhere?

The media guide said that highlights of the games would be projected onto the white 'Kate Bush' pyramid but that didn't happen in the stadium; they may have shown the video on TVs. I was also waiting for the updated Muse video to be played during their live set but it didn't happen either. They showed it in the Stadium on the Saturday night and it was brilliant; basically, the countdown now went forwards and then the montage was made up from 2012 clips.

One thing I do think didn't work because of all the celebrities was that the cameras focused solely on them and not so much on the children and volunteers doing the choreography etc that they'd worked on for months. I know there were kids doing something along the Thames in the rush hour scene but we never really caught a glimpse of them which must be heartbreakingly disappointing for them

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I just have to say I still don't get the dancing phoenix ballet segment. By itself the segment was great and powerful but it felt out of place after 2.5 hours of fun musical act. Another thing is I don't get why London chose to focus so much on ONLY the agony of defeat with that crying montage (again, a total opposite of the atmosphere of the London CC) but not the joy of victory. Maybe I missed it somewhere?

In all great symphonies, there are changes of key and tempo, mood and meaning. I thought it encapsulated the moment very well. The end of the road. The final part of the enjoyment. The bit when the kids start to wail "I don't wanna go home, mummy!" and you can see the actors gathering in the wings ready to take their last bow. To have finished the evening without a period of contemplation and peace would have been incongrous.

One thing I do think didn't work because of all the celebrities was that the cameras focused solely on them and not so much on the children and volunteers doing the choreography etc that they'd worked on for months. I know there were kids doing something along the Thames in the rush hour scene but we never really caught a glimpse of them which must be heartbreakingly disappointing for them

I can never understand what goes on in the minds of TV visual directors. In every Games, they seem to miss out quite important parts. On TV, there was a lot they failed to capture. But the opening was worse. I thought the camerawork was awful, and failed to show the fullness of it all.

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I can never understand what goes on in the minds of TV visual directors. In every Games, they seem to miss out quite important parts. On TV, there was a lot they failed to capture. But the opening was worse. I thought the camerawork was awful, and failed to show the fullness of it all.

Very true. And I'm surprised why Danny Boyle insisted on his own TV director for the opening ceremony - because that director certainly didn't a better job than an "ordinary" TV director. The mistakes started already when they covered the upper stands with those blue sheets right before the countdown in order to simulate the sea surrounding the "Green and Pleasant Land". They only showed close-ups of particular sections of the stands being covered, but never showed the whole stadium when those covers were on. So that "surrounding sea" effect completely fizzled for the TV audience.

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Very true. And I'm surprised why Danny Boyle insisted on his own TV director for the opening ceremony - because that director certainly didn't a better job than an "ordinary" TV director. The mistakes started already when they covered the upper stands with those blue sheets right before the countdown in order to simulate the sea surrounding the "Green and Pleasant Land". They only showed close-ups of particular sections of the stands being covered, but never showed the whole stadium when those covers were on. So that "surrounding sea" effect completely fizzled for the TV audience.

I completely agree, and the blue stands is a perfect example. However, there were some parts of the OC that were well filmed, namely the industrial revolution rings segment and brannagh's opening in green and pleasant land. These arguably were among the most cinematic elements broadcast ever in an OC, especially the forging and raising of the ring and the World Wars tribute. To me it felt like these creative segments were heavily storyboarded and planned but everything around them wasn't, in effect making the cinematography overall very jarring. Worst still it felt like the pre-countdown and other ceremonial segments and the transitions between them were not really given alot of care and thought and perhaps not heavily storyboarded.

In contrast, even the media guide for the closing ceremony shows a sample of the heavy storyboarding completed for the closing ceremony not just the segments themselves but the entire show including the more ceremonial aspects. Overall I agree that the closing ceremony was much better from a cinematographic perspective and arguably more epic, as an olympic ceremony should be, even things like the tracking shots through the orchestra to the front of the stage for the read all about it reprise showed the evident greater care that was taken to storyboard and plan for the entire show. The camera style in this ceremony was also heavily influenced by the style used in many filmed live stadium concerts, I am not sure who did the editing but alot of it even reminded me of the excellent work that the BBC does in Royal Albert Hall during the Proms and Rememberance day service.

Probably one of the best ceremonies cinematographically IMHO is the Vancouver OC.

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